Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Banganga loses royal treatment
A month after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walked out of Banganga during their Mumbai visit, the holy tank is back to its stinky self.

Prince William and Kate at Banganga during their India visit last month. Pic/Rane AshishPrince William and Kate at Banganga during their India visit last month. Pic/Rane Ashish

And it seems everyone around has a story to tell. According to locals, work that was ongoing to restore the heritage steps that line the tank has stopped due to a tussle between the craftsmen and contractors over wages.

The supervisor on site claims that the labourers are enjoying a wedding in their village and will be back soon. Adding more intrigue is an officer at the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra, who told the diarist that work stopped because of the use of substandard material.

When dropped by for a visit last evening, work was slow and the air was heavy with the stench of rotting garbage floating on the waters. A sight, we wish no one.

Conversations over saree


Pic/Sameer Markande

Goa designer Wendell Rodricks and sari revivalist Rta Kapur Chishti check out a weave at Essence of the Sari, a talk that's part of a series on responsible fashion launched by ARTISANS' at Kala Ghoda.

Sherrygirl and her handsome pups
Think Mother’s Day celebrations are over? Not yet for this golden retriever.

The proud mother of golden pups (in the rear), Sherrygirl (centre) won the special Mother’s Day award at the Dog Fest held over the weekend. She and her grown-up pups charmed everyone, including us.

Will tech take over your job?
We aren’t here to scare you, but if you think the last recession hit jobs hard, wait for another five years. Workforce Transformation in the Digital Vortex, a just-launched report claims that four in 10 industry positions will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years.

What this means is the way apps and services are going, they may replace the physical workforce. Need proof? Didn’t we last tell you about the UTS app which allows you to book railway tickets on Mumbai’s suburban line via your phone? Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and very new Alexa from Amazon are all vying to become your personal assistant. So, my friend, if you think your current skill set will last you forever, give it a rethink.

Cupid strikes cop
This IPS officer is not new to controversy. Now, even as he continues to face the music from the government in connection to work-related issues, the officer finds himself in a soup on the personal front. The buzz in IPS circles is that this Mumbai-based officer, who was denied a mid-career promotion last year as punishment, is seriously lovestruck and has married a second time in secret.

The local police have even kept tabs on secret visits he makes to his lady love, and submitted a confidential report to his seniors. This unusual development is thanks to the legend of ‘a woman scorned’. The department is sure that his fiery wife (the first) will explode with rage once she learns of his dalliance. Sure in the knowledge that an internal probe will then be ordered, the local police say they are just preparing for the inevitable.

It is also common knowledge that the officer had narrowly escaped the first wife’s fury when he was serving as a district superintendent of police for his association with a local beauty there. An IG-level officer had probed the incident back then and his inquiry report continues to be one of the most talked about documents in the annals of state police records. A leopard doesn’t change its spots.

A garbage fundraiser!
Khar Gymkhana is famous for many things, including the Deewani Handi, but yesterday, it won ecological fame by becoming one of the few places in Mumbai to produce zero garbage.

The Organic Waste Converter at Khar Gymkhana
The Organic Waste Converter at Khar Gymkhana

That’s no small feat for the landmark that insiders say produces close to 500 kilos of wet organic waste every day. RaddiConnect, a firm that offers door-to-door recyclable waste collecting services, teamed up with the gym to install an Organic Waste Converter (OWC) to turn 500 kilos of rubbish into 150 to 200 kilos of raw compost daily.

The gym hopes to make some of its blossoms in the garden smile wider thanks to this plant food, and hawk the rest in the open market. “The machine works as a shredder for all the wet waste and can process 500 kilos of garbage in 24 hours,” says Rahul Nainani of RaddiConnect, which will also collect dry recyclable waste including paper, glass and plastic. All proceeds from sale of scrap will go towards Bandra’s St Catherine of Siena School & Orphanage. If that’s not a win-win, what is.

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